With apologies for the very bad photo, I give you Gialletti, or fruited cornmeal cookies. Instead of reading apocalyptic literature in the Bible this morning, which I really need to get done before next weekend’s class, I have been trying to research the etymology of the word gialletti. It is Italian (duh), and when I google it I find a hotel in Orvieto, the ceramicist Giulio Gialletti, and a few mentions of the Venetian pastry (apparently also known in those parts as zaleti). The online translators I am accustomed to using are equally unhelpful, spitting out the word gialletti when I request an Italian-to-English translation of gialletti, a convenient-for-them tautology that teaches me nothing. The same is true for zaleti, so learning that word didn’t help any unless I was looking for a synonym which I wasn’t. And neither word is in my early 1990s edition of Cassell’s Italian dictionary. Giallo is, however, and that means yellow.
Which brings me to cornmeal. And golden raisins, juice and zest of oranges, butter and light rum, come to think of it. These cookies use cornmeal in a 1:2 ratio with flour. I processed the cornmeal to grind it a little finer as I tend to have only medium ground cornmeal on hand. And, as long as I was using the food processor, I mixed the flour, baking powder and finely chopped golden raisins together in it after the grinding was done. Butter, sugar, zest of a fresh orange, a tiny bit of salt and plenty of rum and vanilla extract make up the remainder of the ingredients. The dough is quite sticky and needed to be chilled before rolling it out and cutting the diamond shapes. After baking, I dipped each in a glaze of powdered sugar, orange juice, and more rum, and then sprinkled the nonpareils before the glaze had a chance to set. Sweet! No, seriously. Sweet!